Being anti-Islam is not racist claims Ian McEwan (as do the EDL, of course)

Ian McEwan has insisted that criticising Islam is not racist and blamed left-leaning thinkers for “closing down the debate”. The Booker Prize winner said those who claimed judging Muslims was “de facto” racism were playing a “poisonous argument”. McEwan, 61, the best-selling author of novels including Amsterdam, Atonement and Saturday, thought many in the left wrongly took this position because they had an anti-Americanism shared with Islamists. In an interview with today’s Telegraph Magazine, McEwan said:

“Chunks of left-of-centre opinion have tried to close down the debate by saying that if you were to criticise Islam as a thought system you are a de facto racist. That is a poisonous argument. They do it on the basis that they see an ally in their particular forms of anti-Americanism. So these radical Muslims are the shock-troops for the armchair Left who don’t want to examine too closely the rest of the package – the homophobia, the misogyny and so on.”

Daily Telegraph, 13 March 2010